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Three friends, a journey and a long "stream of consciousness”(Talking with an armadillo). This is "Tear off along the edges”, The new animated series Netflix created by the cartoonist Zerocalcare (Michele Rech). After the experience in the world of animated shorts with "Rebibbia Quarantine”, Which tells of the quarantine life in the Roman district of Rebibbia, Zerocalcare has managed to create a small animated masterpiece, which in a few days was thrown to the first place between Netflix's most viewed content. Great is the work of Zerocalcare, who in addition to being a draftsman and narrator is also the dubber of the main characters (for a very specific reason). The only one to have a different voice is thearmadillo (Zero's conscience), whose voice is the Roman actor Valerio Mastrandrea. The icing on the cake is the choice of language, straightforward and in Roman dialect, just as Zerocalcare has accustomed us to in recent years in his comics.

What is it about Tearing along the edges

The protagonist of the series is Zero himself, who is faced with a train journey to Biella with the two friends of a lifetime, Sarah e Dry, but of course also the inevitable armadillo, which comes out to remind Zero why he is there on that trip and its importance. Over the course of the episodes Zerocalcare uses many flashback as a narrative device. The story revolves around a third character, Alice. It is a friend of the three boys, who moved from Biella to Rome. Zero immediately establishes a strong friendship with Alice. Despite their close proximity he does not notice (or does not want to see) that the girl feeds a feeling of love for him. Even when he might have the opportunity to let go, he prefers not to push himself further, to avoid ruin everything. When Zero manages to understand Alice's true feelings, however, it is already too late.

Tearing along the edges: the “easter eggs” of the series

The TV series, in addition to showing an unprecedented Rome animated, shows several "easter egg"(Or free quotes to other products deliberately placed by the author, etc.). Among these appears the same Netflix, called "Netflics", With posters of films and TV series translated into Roman, such as"You great" (The shark), "Spartan semos"(300), etc. These “translated” posters are also present in other scenes, such as in the posters in Zero's room and in the Rome metro. In Tear along the edges there is also a lot Rebibbia. In fact, between the scenes you can see the square Lino Ferriani and the mural with the phrase "it is useless to live outside if you die inside". Finally, among other places in Rome there is also the one already mentioned metro, at the stop "Mammolo Bridge".

We are blades of grass

Tearing along the edges is a tale full of sarcasm, but there is also a lot introspection. It is in fact a brilliant product to which it is impossible to remain indifferent. In fact, Zerocalcare does not only describe himself, his own fears, her anxieties, but they are feelings that can be found in each of us. We all have an armadillo to talk to and to deal with. We all have an Alice with whom we have not been able to open up. Zerocalcare has decided to dub all the characters to make the narrative like a story from his point of view. Only Alice for most of the series has one metallic voice how to make her emotionally distant. Only in the finale is she given a "real voice"(Not of Zerocalcare, but of a woman). The story of Zero is the story of all of us. Maybe there will be contexts e different shades, maybe the author's sarcasm will be missing, but the feeling of that punch in the stomach and suffocation that comes even unexpectedly is always the same. Coping with the pain it is not a simple thing. Unfortunately, you are not always able to know how to manage it, especially when you have to live helplessly with the choices of others. But often we think that not enough has been done to change the situation and we end up live with regrets. However, as Sarah reminds Zero, we are blades of grass in a meadow, you cannot carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Life is full of responsibilities, but knowing that you are one blade of grass among many others in the great meadow of the world could help take life more lightly… And maybe it's better this way.

Cover photo: © Netflix.

Tear along the edges: short animated masterpiece by Zerocalcare last edit: 2021-11-28T09:00:00+01:00 da Antonello Ciccarello

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